A Workshop For Eco-friendly Ganesha Idols
An intensive workshop in sculpting eco-friendly Ganesha idols was organised for Bhavishya-Yaan students at the G.K. Marg municipal school on September 12. The programme was arranged in collaboration with the Sanskar India Foundation (SIF), an NGO that is committed to equipping the future citizens of India with civic, environmental, social and health values. A total of 63 boys and girls took part in the workshop which started with an SIF teacher explaining the harmful effects of Ganapati immersion in various water bodies in the city and the state.
Traditionally, Ganesha idols were made of mud and clay which dissolved easily when immersed in water. But over time, with the magnitude of the celebrations growing, mud and clay were replaced by plaster of Paris, a cheaper and lighter gypsum-based material that took longer to degrade.Apart from this, the traditional vegetable dyes were replaced by chemical colours and leadbased paints which released harmful toxins into the water. Once the preliminary lecture was delivered, the children were given “sadu” clay (the clay taken from the bottom of a riverbed) and explained how to prepare handmade, ecofriendly Ganesha idols. The children’s enthusiasm was infectious. The very act of creating an idol of their favourite god Ganesha had them trying their best to come up with uniques, well-sculpted statues. The SIF, which started from one school in 2003, now covers 115 schools and holds classes in three languages. It is confident that the lessons of a healthy, eco-friendly lifestyle imbibed in classrooms will be taken home by the children to their families. Children proudly hold up the eco-friendly Ganesha idol that they